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Trade Group: Germany Faces Highest Natural Cat Losses

Flooding and devastating hail storms probably will make 2021 the year with the highest natural hazard losses for German insurers in at least 50 years.
  • David Pilla
  • October 2021
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The insured loss estimate for mid-July rains that triggered damaging floods are contributing to what is shaping up to be the most-expensive year for natural catastrophes on record for German insurers, totaling an estimated €11.5 billion ($13.66 billion) so far, said Germany's insurance trade group.

July flood losses will help push property/casualty insurers into the red, said the German Insurance Association (Die Deutschen Versicherer or GDV) in a statement.

“The flood disaster in mid-July and the devastating hail in early summer will probably make 2021 the year with the highest natural hazard losses for German insurers in at least 50 years,” the GDV said.

Insured storm damage to houses, household effects, businesses and vehicles amount to around €11.5 billion, said GDV Managing Director Jörg Asmussen in a statement.

We expect the property/casualty sector as a whole to be in the red this year.

Jörg Asmussen
German Insurance Association


“We expect the property/casualty sector as a whole to be in the red this year,” Asmussen said.

He said 2021 may be the most expensive year for natural hazards since the GDV began keeping statistics in the early 1970s.

He said catastrophe damage reached €11.3 billion in 2002 due to August floods on the Elbe River and devastating storms. In 1990, Germany suffered €11.5 billion in damage from a series of storms including Daria, Vivian and Wiebke.

Asmussen said the long-term average in insured losses due to natural catastrophes per year is €3.8 billion.

Insured losses for July floods in parts of Germany were originally estimated at €4 billion to €5 billion, according to the GDV.

July floods will cost insurers at least €7 billion, said the GDV. Of that, about €6.5 billion covered residential buildings, household effects and businesses, and around €450 million covered motor vehicles.

“The hail damage to around 275,000 cars alone cost the insurers around €700 million,” Asmussen said. For motor insurers, this is the fourth-largest hail damage since the statistics began, he said.


David Pilla is news editor. He can be reached at david.pilla@ambest.com.



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